Here is the second part in my series on 2010 draft prospects by position. Here are the middle infielders:
Christian Colon, Cal State Fullerton
A broken leg won’t keep Colon down, and I think he’ll come back quite effectively for the spring season. He doesn’t really have any plus-plus tools, but he’s a great all-around player and the best middle infield prospect available in the 2010 class. Projected draft slot: Early-first to mid-first round.
Rick Hague, Rice
Hague played third base for Team USA this summer, but he’s probably going to stick at shortstop in pro ball with some improvement. He’s a solid hitter with some work to do with his approach, but he’s got the natural talent to be an above-average hitter from the shortstop position. He might eventually have to move to third base, but he proved he’s an excellent fielder there this summer, so that’s not necessarily a horrible thing. Projected draft slot: Mid-first to early-second round.
Jedd Gyorko, West Virginia
I’ve gone back and forth on whether to list Gyorko as a second baseman or third baseman, and I think I’ve settled here…for now. He’s got a plus hit tool with some good raw power, and he could turn out to be one of the best hitters from this draft class. He has a college approach to hitting and will be picked on the bat alone. Projected draft position: Late-first to mid-second round.
Derek Dietrich, Georgia Tech
Dietrich is another guy that might be a third baseman, but his position for now is shortstop. He really struggled this summer on the Cape, and there’s a lot of doubt about both his bat and glove. He’s got an average hit tool with average raw power, but he strikes out a lot. He does run the count up, but he ends up striking out just too much. His glove isn’t that good, either, and in all likelihood he’s a third baseman. Projected draft position: Supplemental-first to late-second round.
Ross Wilson, Alabama
Wilson is a middle infielder that might fit at either second or short, though his position right now is second with the Crimson Tide alongside 2010 shortstop prospect Josh Rutledge. Wilson’s one of those all-around solid hitters that has improved year-to-year and should be a solid pro hitter, too. He’s got a good eye at the plate and a solid hit tool with decent power, so he should be an intriguing guy to watch in the spring. Projected draft position: Early-second to early-third round.
Manny Machado, Brito Private HS (FL)
Machado’s a big kid for a shortstop, but he’s athletic and shows flashes of being a good defender. He has a bat wrap, but he’s actually hit the ball really well, especially with Team USA, where he was the best hitter on the 18U team. Projected draft position: Mid-first to early-second round.
Yordy Cabrera, Lakeland HS (FL)
Florida always seems to be brimming with prep shortstops, and this year is no different. Some scouts prefer Cabrera to Machado, though Cabrera’s bigger and might be a long-term third baseman. He needs to work on his plate discipline and pitch recognition skills, as he might become the next Miguel Tejada in those areas at the plate without major work. Projected draft position: Late-first to mid-second round.
Justin O’Conner, Cowan HS (IN)
There aren’t a lot of Indiana prep prospects that go straight to the pros, especially this high up, but O’Conner’s the exception. Unlike Machado and Cabrera, there aren’t a lot of questions around O’Conner’s ability to stay at shortstop long-term, and he should be a solid hitter, too. Projected draft position: Late-first to late-second round.
Anthony Wolters, Rancho Buena Vista HS (CA)
Wolters is the only major prep prospect in this class that might turn out to be a second baseman in the long-term. He’s got a plus hit tool and is a heady player, and while he isn’t blessed with all the tools of the players listed above, he’s one of the better on-field performers in this class. Projected draft position: Early-second to early-third round.
Zach Alvord, South Forsyth HS (GA)
Alvord is a skilled player from Georgia that profiles as a decent shortstop or plus second baseman. He is a very skilled hitter with a plus hit tool and possible plus power, and much of his value is wrapped up in his bat. He has a great chance to rise a lot between now and June, but he needs to keep hitting to attract scouting attention, as he’s not an extremely good athlete. Projected draft position: Early-second to mid-third round.
This is the first of a series where I give quick looks at the players at a given position for the 2010 draft. First up is the outfielders.
Bryce Brentz, Middle Tennessee
Brentz is a corner outfielder with a plus arm who fits best long-term in right field. He’s got plus hit and power tools, and he’s probably got the highest ceiling of any college hitter in the 2010 class. Read more about Brentz here. Projected draft slot: Early- to mid-first round.
LeVon Washington, Chipola JC (FL)
It’s hard to really point at a huge number of JUCO prospects yet, so Washington falls into the college category. A first-rounder a year ago, he’s projected to do the same this year. He’s got plus hit and speed tools, and if his arm firms up to become somewhere in 40-50 range, he’ll be a plus overall fielder. Projected draft slot: Mid- to late-first round.
Jarrett Parker, Virginia
A center fielder, Parker’s someone whose draft position is up in the air. He was absolutely horrible on the Cape, and even though it was probably due to exhaustion from a long season, he looked incredibly out of sync. He’s a power-speed type of guy and he should be about average as a pro center fielder. I like his overall patience, but the summer hurt his stock. Projected draft slot: Late-first to late-second round.
Todd Cunningham, Jacksonville State
Cunningham’s also a center fielder with a good chance to stay there as a pro. His biggest tool is his hit tool, and it’s outstanding. I got a question in the comments of my first 2010 mock a few days ago about what hitters were the best pure hitters in the class. Cunningham might be number one. He doesn’t have a lot of power, and he’s not exceptionally speedy, but he’s definitely a solid option for a number one or two hitter in the pros. Projected draft slot: Supplemental-first to late-second round.
Gary Brown, Cal State Fullerton
Brown’s a controversial guy in the scouting community, but I put him here just to keep you aware of him. This spot could have easily gone to one of Leon Landry, Tyler Holt, or Michael Choice, but Brown’s a lesser name that you should remember. He’s got plus-plus speed and a solid hit tool, and even though he’ll never hit for much power, that should make him a decent offensive threat. His speed also makes him a good defender in center, though he needs to add arm strength to an otherwise accurate arm. Projected draft slot: Early-second to early-third round.
Austin Wilson, Harvard Westlake HS (CA)
Big-time tools include plus raw power and a plus-plus arm. However, he’s probably a right fielder in the long-run, and not a lot of prep corner outfielders go incredibly high in the draft. His bat isn’t quite elite enough to warrant top five consideration like Donavan Tate could command a year ago, but Wilson’s got enough raw talent to lock himself into the first round for now. Projected draft slot: Mid-first to late-first round.
Josh Sale, Bishop Blanchet HS (WA)
Not a lot of great hitters come into the pros as preps from the state of Washington, but Sale’s got that potential. A lefty at the plate and a corner outfield prospect, Sale’s got good power potential and a good hit tool, and he’s made himself into a household name in scouting circles. Projected draft slot: Mid-first to early-second round.
Chevez Clarke, Marietta HS (GA)
A lot of early summer hype was around fellow Georgia prep outfielder Trey Griffin, but Clarke has come out ahead of Griffin this fall. Clarke has all the tools to be a plus center fielder in the pros, and that really allows to gain ground on future corner outfielders like Wilson and Sale. A switch-hitter, Clarke doesn’t have a ton of current power, but he should become near average there with a plus hit tool. He’s very fast, so the tools are all there. Projected draft slot: Late-first to late-second round.
Brian Ragira, James Martin HS (TX)
Ragira’s got arguably the highest amount of potential of this group of hitters, as he has plus raw power and a plus hit tool, though his current tools in game action aren’t as strong as the players above. There’s some question about his future position, as he might be a bit of a ‘tweener defensively, with a good arm, but only above-average speed with the possibility of losing range as he gets bigger. Projected draft slot: Early-second to mid-third round.
Reggie Golden, Wetumpka HS (AL)
Golden is such a toolsy player that it’s hard to take your eyes off him when he’s on the field. However, he’s your usual raw prep hitter that has some big troubles with pitch recognition and patience. He’s got plus raw power, plus speed, and a plus arm, all of which will play in center field. Hit-or-miss type of player. Projected draft slot: Early-second to late-third round.